The presentation of a £5,000 cheque from Farnham Town Council has brought Waverley hoppa Community Transport tantalisingly close to achieving its target to buy a replacement bus for its highly popular Farnham route.

The appeal to buy a new bus was launched in April with a £5,000 grant from Farnham Town Council. The Council pledged up to a further £5,000 to match additional funding that hoppa could secure from other Farnham organisations.

To experience for themselves how the service operates, the Mayor and Mayoress of Farnham Councillor John and Gillian Ward recently hopped aboard for a ride. Councillor John Ward said: “It was a delight to meet some of the passengers who regularly use the hoppa service and was enlightening to receive direct feedback about how valuable they find it. Some of the passengers I spoke with told me that they use the service at least twice a week for shopping, running errands and attending medical appointments.

“Demand for the service is rising and in the first ten months of this financial year, the number of passengers using the service exceeded the total for the previous year. It is clear that hoppa serves as a lifeline for many Farnham residents and that there is no other directly comparable alternative. I am very happy that Farnham Town Council has been able to support this service.”

It will cost over £30,000 to buy the new bus. To date nearly £20,000 has been paid by Farnham Town Council, the Lions Club of Farnham, Waverley Borough Council plus donations from hoppa passengers. A further £10,000 has been pledged by Councillor Pat Frost, the Farnham Institute Charity, The Hedgehogs and BBS Ltd.

Councillor Ward adds: “hoppa needs just another £2,000 to buy a new, reliable and comfortable bus for Farnham passengers. Any organisation that makes a donation will have their logo displayed on the outside of the bus which makes this a good opportunity for a local business wanting to support a good cause. I can vouch for the fact that any donation will be money very well spent.”

Farnham’s dial-a-ride service is currently served by two buses operating five days a week between the hours of 9.30am and 5pm. In addition, passengers can book The Ranger service for trips outside of Farnham such as an appointment at Frimley Park Hospital or a shopping trip to a nearby large town. To use hoppa, passengers will need to register as a member. This is free of charge and can be done by calling 01428 681701 or completing the form on hoppa’s website.

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